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3. Start the course
To get the most from the course, we recommend the course book: Mindfulness. However, it is not essential.
Before starting, we recommend you read the first four chapters of the course book.
These provide useful background into how to approach meditation and sets expectations. It also explains in detail the physiological mechanisms by which meditation can boost mental health.
In brief, areas of the brain involved in emotional function can become over- or under-active for various reasons. In addition, the activity of the autonomic nervous system that controls many unconscious functions can increase or decrease leading to feelings of anxiety or apathy, respectively. If this goes unnoticed, these can worsen and manifest as mental health conditions that require treatment. It is no surprise therefore that it is considered good practice to be self-aware and practise mindfulness and good habits to keep your mental wellbeing in check.
We recommend the following week-by-week exercises which are based primarily on the Mindfulness book but with adaptations based on a course attended by members of our team run by Dr Elizabeth English of Cambridge University Mindfulness Society.
In this section: